A San Jose nightclub whose liquor and entertainment licenses was suspended for 60 days today after five people were wounded in a shooting Sunday had a history of other violent incidents over the past year, a spokesman for the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control said Thursday.
The owner of the liquor license for the Fiesta nightclub, Miguel Sandoval, agreed to ABC’s decision to suspend the license for 60 days starting Friday and place it on probation for two years, ABC spokesman John Carr said.
The ABC took the action based on the shooting early Sunday at the club during a private party hosted by R&B singer Chris Brown. Four people were wounded inside the club and a fifth person was shot outside the business, Carr said.
Also today, the San Jose Police Department suspended the club’s city entertainment permit for 60 days as of Friday because the owner failed to provide adequate security during the party as required by the permit. The city holds the owner responsible for the club permitting someone to enter with a gun, police Sgt. Heather Randol said.
The Fiesta at 3840 Monterey Highway has operated under a liquor license issued to Sandoval, president of the company LG Group, Inc., since July 26, 1991, according to ABC records. Sandoval’s annually renewed license is due to expire this coming Feb. 28, according to the ABC.
In 2014, the club was the site of an assault with a deadly weapon resulting in a head injury on Jan. 13; an assault and battery by a patron against another on March 13; a gunshot on July 13 that prompted police to clear 500 people from the club and its parking lot, and an assault by a patron who clubbed a person with bottle on Aug. 21, Carr said.
The incidents together “were all used in this report by the ABC to determine what the penalty should be” against Sandoval, Carr saidL
“It’s a stiff penalty.”
Out of 87,000 businesses with liquor licenses in California during the 2012 to 2013 fiscal year, the ABC suspended only 606 and placed 129 on probation, Carr said. The two-year probation period means that the Fiesta’s liquor license could be revoked if similar violations occur during that period, he said.
City business license records list Sandoval’s LG Group as the licensee of the Fiesta Nightclub/Cowtown from August 1, 1991 to last August 15. The next licensee is listed as Katia Reyes, as of Jan. 7, three days before the Brown party started at 9 p.m. Saturday. Reyes is also listed as of Jan 7. as the holder of the county’s five-year fictitious firm name certificate for the business as Fiesta Cajun House.
According to city planning records, in 2007, the San Jose Planning Commission turned down Sandoval’s request for a conditional use permit asking to use a plexiglass wall to separate the nightclub for adults aged at least 21 years from a family restaurant allowing minors.
While the planning staff recommended approving a permit, San Jose police raised objections about a lack of police resources in the area, the possibility that minors would loiter and use alcohol and past infractions and non-compliance with permit requirements by the club.
Police Lt. David Hober opposed splitting the nightclub and restaurant because minors might commingle with adults and drink alcohol and said that the Fiesta had a history of underage persons served alcohol.
The club’s representative at the meeting was George Shirakawa, Jr., who said the owner wanted under-aged patrons to share in the enjoyment of the music, that alcohol would not be served in the restaurant after 9 p.m. and security officers would prevent alcohol brought in from the bar side.
With the application, the Fiesta submitted a proposed security plan, including at least 12 security guards on the property on Saturday and Sunday nights, when to 250 to 500 people attend. The commission voted down the use permit request by a 4-2 vote.